James Dyson: "WTO rules after Brexit? Bring 'em on"

Emma Haslett
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James Dyson, chairman of Dyson Ltd expla
Dyson said the company already pays WTO tariffs (Source: Getty)

The UK's entrepreneurs may be holding their breath ahead of the triggering of Article 50 on Wednesday, but James Dyson has said he is "enormously optimistic" about it.

In an interview with the BBC today, Dyson, who was one of the business world's most prominent Brexiteers, said it won't be a disaster if the UK ends negotiations without a trade deal with the EU.

"We pay the WTO tariff going into Europe because we manufacture in the Far East," he said.

"But we as a business have expanded five times over the past five years." At the beginning of this month the company announced a new, Apple-style campus near its current headquarters, designed to increase its footprint "tenfold".

Dyson, who is a frequent, vocal campaigner against the UK's dearth of engineering skills, said he thought it was very unlikely EU citizens will be shipped out of the country following Brexit.

"I'm certain that people who are working and contributing in Britain will be able to stay here. It's absolute nonsense to suggest that countries are going to chuck out foreign citizens," he said.

"I just want Britain to run itself, to have its own government, " he added.

"I'm resident in England, we pay all our tax here. I'm a patriot, which is why I'm keen on reconnecting with the commonwealth... and staying friends with Europe. We can do both."

"I'm enormously optimistic because I think looking outwards to the rest of the world is very, very important, because that's the fast-growing bit."

His comments came as Dyson unveiled figures showing profits hit £631m last year, with turnover growing 45 per cent to £2.5bn as growth in China rose 244 per cent.

Read more: Dyson: "To remain in the EU would be an act of self-harm"

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